Personal Care

The dangers of hair color

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Using hair dye
When using hair dye, it is wise to exercise caution
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It's important to use precaution when coloring your hair

While estimates suggest that more than 75 million women regularly color their hair, most without consequence, there are side effects to consider when dying ones tresses.


When using hair dye, it is wise to exercise caution. Although a minimal concern, hair dye stains all fabrics. At the salon, your hairdresser will drape you with a cape and use extra caution so as not to get any of the hair color on your clothes or skin.

If you are using at-home hair dye, be sure to wear old clothes and don't accidentally drop any of the mixture on your carpet. Doing so will result in a permanent stain, no matter how much scrubbing you do.

Also, wipe the dye off your skin with an old towel before it has time to dry. Although the dye will eventually come off, it may take a few days unless you remove it immediately.

Hair Damage

Coloring your hair can damage its composition, making it brittle, dull and unmanageable. This is especially true when lightening hair, particularly if a bleach formula is used. This harsh chemical removes pigment from the hair leaving the shaft empty and susceptible to breakage and split ends.

Always take care to deep condition colored hair once a week and use products specifically designed for tinted tresses. Wear a hat when you're in the sun and wind to avoid further damage and the risk of ruining your hair color.

Allergic Reactions

The dangers of hair color include allergic reactions. Tar-based hair colors can cause ill effects, but the good news is that newer products are made from petroleum which is not known to cause these kinds of reactions.

However, any chemical can cause problems depending on the individual, and no chemical is safe for everyone so make sure to do a patch test and not to use any product that causes itching, redness or rash.

Eye Damage

When coloring your hair be sure to keep the product out of your eyes. The FDA has received notice of injured consumers who accidentally get these chemicals in their eyes. Not only is this painful, but it can cause serious damage and in some cases, blindness.

Currently there are no FDA-approved products for tinting and dyeing eyebrows and eyelashes; it is wise to let a professional handle these sensitive areas.


Many studies have been done to determine the relationship between the use of hair dyes and cancer, and the concern seems to be unfounded.

Some research published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute did suggest that prolonged use of black hair dye (20 years or more) did seem to raise the occurrence of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and multiple myeloma, although these cases constituted only a small percentage of hair color users.

A study completed by the researchers at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston countered these findings, claiming that no greater risk of cancers of the blood or lymph systems existed among women who used permanent hair color. Products used in the past are being updated and improved and are healthier for human use than ever before.

The dangers of hair color should be taken seriously to avoid hair damage, allergies and other more serious complications. Make sure to first read the instructions and understand the risks associated with coloring your hair.

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